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Plan rejected for ‘inferior’ restaurant over landmark Galway pub


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Plan rejected for ‘inferior’ restaurant over landmark Galway pub

One of the best-known publicans in the country has been told he cannot open a restaurant over a Galway City pub – because it would be “inferior” and lead to food safety and hygiene issues.

Louis Fitzgerald wanted to open a pizza restaurant over Murphy’s on High Street, which he purchased last year, but hit a stumbling block when the HSE’s Environmental Health Service described the premises as “totally unsuitable”.

Mr Fitzgerald’s company, Tatuape Ltd, argued that the proposed kitchen area would be suitable for the preparation and regeneration of food and that because there would be a single pizza oven with a “limited stack extract chimney”, no secondary ventilation system would be required.

However, the Council has now turned down the application, ruling: “Having regard to the design and layout of the proposed first floor restaurant, along with the Health Service Executive comments on file, it is considered that the proposal represents a substandard form of development which, if granted, would give rise to food safety/hygiene issues and provide an inferior form of restaurant accommodation/retail service experience.”

The HSE’s Environmental Health Service had said: “It is the opinion of the Environmental Health Service Galway that the layout, design, construction, siting and size of this kitchen as currently outlines is totally unsuitable for the nature and extend of this proposed food operation . . . the kitchen space is wholly unsuitable for the preparation or regeneration of food”.

The Fire Authority previously submitted a report to the Council that it had no objection to the development of a restaurant on the first floor of the premises, subject to the second floor not being used as sleeping accommodation.

The Council added that this restriction would mean the loss of a residential unit in the city centre.

In its second reason for refusing planning permission, the local authority ruled: “The proposed change of use would result in the loss of a residential unit at second floor level, due to fire safety restrictions imposed by the Fire Authority.

“This would be contrary to the Galway City Development Plan 2023-29 policy on housing in the city centre, which seeks to encourage and supplement housing delivery in the city centre and promotes city centre living, including the use of vacant upper floors for residential accommodation,” the refusal reads.

As well as The Quays in Galway, the Louis Fitzgerald Group owns Dublin pubs including Bruxelles, Kehoes, The Stag’s Head, The Gin Palace and The Quays in Temple Bar, the Grand Central on O’Connell Street and Palmerstown House.

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